If you’ve applied for a loan or credit card, you know how a bank or non-bank financial corporation (NBFC) requests a number of documents to assess your creditworthiness.
This process involves assessing your ability to repay contributions and your willingness to make repayments; the latter involves the assessment of credit score, among others. In the post-COVID era where the incomes of many have been hit hard and many have had to resort to increased borrowing, a moratorium on repayments and loan restructuring, maintaining a good credit rating is imperative.
In India, four credit reporting companies (CICs) or credit bureaus Equifax, Experian, CRIF High Mark and CIBIL TransUnion provide detailed credit scores and reports. The personal credit report is independently compiled and generated by these four credit bureaus.
Considering the importance of the credit report in an individual’s financial affairs, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), by a notification dated September 1, 2016, made it mandatory for the four credit reporting companies in India to provide free credit report including credit score. , once a year (January-December), to individuals on request if their credit history is available from CIC.
The free credit report provided is detailed and includes the same information that is provided to banks and other lending institutions. This practice is consistent with the worldwide practice that all credit bureaus are mandated to provide a free credit report each year.
You can request a free full credit report from any bureaus. To get the free credit report or credit score, you can visit the respective website of the credit bureaus and provide date of birth, address, PAN (permanent account number) or Aadhaar number, one piece identity, etc. Some credit bureaus can send you the report within 24 hours while others may allow you to download the report instantly.
It is important to check the report and see if the details mentioned are correct. This can help people protect themselves against fraud and identity theft. They can check their reports and have any errors corrected by notifying the credit agency or the bank.
CIBIL is a third-party agency that maintains and periodically updates borrowers’ credit profile and shares it with lenders, service providers such as mobile phone companies, and borrowers (for a fee). There are currently four authorized credit bureaus in India. Of these, CIBIL is the oldest and has the widest coverage in terms of the number of customer accounts. Newer ones, like Experian, Equifax, and CRIF High Mark, are also growing rapidly. CIBIL receives information about your credit history from the respective banks and loan companies, after which CIBIL compares and compiles them into one report.
Here’s how to get a free CIBIL report once a year.
Step 2: Fill out the form provided which requires your necessary information such as name, phone number, email address and click Continue.
Step 3: Fill in additional details about yourself, including your PAN (permanent account number). Make sure you enter your PAN details correctly to proceed to the next step.
Step 4: Correctly answer all questions about your loans and credit cards, based on which your CIBIL score will be calculated and your completed credit report will be generated.
These are the four main steps to take to check the CIBIL score.
However, the ones below are a continuation of the main steps listed above.
Step 5: You will be offered various paid subscriptions (if you need more than one report per year). If you only need a unique, free credit score and credit report, select No.
Thank you at the bottom of the page.
This is the step where your account is created, and a confirmation message will appear on the next page.
Step 6: Using your username and password created in step 2, you can log into your account.
To go further, you must authenticate yourself. You will receive an email on your registered account. Click on the link and enter the one-time password provided in the email.
You will be prompted to change your password and log back in.
Step 7: Once logged in, all of your personal information will be automatically filled in by default (please provide the correct information if the fields are not filled in automatically). Please enter your phone number and click submit.
Step 8: Once you have submitted this form, your dashboard will display with your CIBIL score. Plus, you can get your credit report on the dashboard.
You can follow the same step-by-step process for the other three credit bureaus.
This free credit report shows the last position of the exposure of credit institutions to individuals according to the files available from CIC. The report contains credit score, summary of credit information, individual credit-related information (term, outstanding, default), historical research for individuals, to easily understand credit performance and behavior.
In addition, the report contains detailed information on borrowers’ credit / loan history, including identity information, credit accounts, loans, credit cards, payments, and recent inquiries.
If you have already obtained your free credit report for the year and want to continue monitoring your credit history, you can subscribe to the paid access plan from any of the credit bureaus.
Knowing the credit score helps in getting a loan on better terms. If the score is low, one can take corrective action, take the right steps to improve the credit score as well.